Shilajit: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

Shilajit is a blackish to brown powder available in the market and it is naturally occurring in sticky tar or resin-like substance and very interestingly it is neither animal nor plant origin. Shilajit is known from the centuries as an ayurvedic medicine (rejuvenator) and used as an antiaging compound.

It is also referred to as ‘Rasayana’ in Ayurveda and Siddha. In ancient Granthas, it is mentioned that during the summer season the mountains heat’s up due to direct exposure of the sun rays (infrared rays) which in turn melts the exterior layer of the mountain. This leads to yielding black resin-like semisolid substance and after drying the rock exudate, they are processed into the dry powder (Shilajit powder).

There is also a story that million years ago the matters in the deep forest got pressed between the massive rocks for a very long time and that resulted in the formation of tar-like semisolid substances. These materials expel out from the big rocks through the cracks when they were heated up during the summertime. 

Shilajit is rich in different minerals and essential nutrients. It has plenty of bioactive (Phyto complex) compounds which are majorly composed of fulvic and humic acid. Shilajit possesses many therapeutic properties which have been a hot topic in the scientific community, and it is identified by modern science. Shilajit is majorly known for its healing properties.

Other Names for Shilajit

  • In English, Shilajit is known as Asphaltum, Black Bitumen, Jew’s pitch.
  • In Sanskrit, it is known as Silaras, Shilajit, Silajit. 
  • In Hindi, Gujarati, and Marathi, it is known as Shilajit.
  • In Bengali, it is known as Silajatu.
  • In Tamil, it is known as Uerangyum, Perangyum, Uerangyum. 
  • In Latin, it is known as Asphaltum.

Uses and Benefits of shilajit

1: Shilajit for treating Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s is a very commonly found disease in old age peoples and it is mainly related to a brain disorder that has a direct relation with the problems in memory loss, change in behavior with a loss of thinking ability. Few allopathy medicine treatments are available, and they can help to improve the health of Alzheimer’s patients. Shilajit contains fulvic acid which is around 60-80% of its bioactive components. The fulvic acid possesses a very strong antioxidant potential and it also contributes to cognitive health which prevents the accumulation of tau protein in the brain cells and thereby prevents progressive Alzheimer’s. The scientific literature shows that the intake of shilajit may increase the level of fulvic acid in the body which retards the stockpile of tau protein for the reduction of inflammation and thereby improve the health of Alzheimer’s patients.

2: Shilajit and its benefits in high altitude sickness

The high-altitude sickness is caused due to exposure to the low atmospheric pressure, low temperature, and windy climate. There is scientific literature available which states that the intake of an adequate amount of shilajit can help to overcome the sickness of high altitude.

3: Shilajit and its role in anemia

Hemoglobin is a blood protein that helps to carry and circulate oxygen in different parts of the body. Anemia is a condition where the normal hemoglobin level in the body drops down. This is a very commonly found disease in women since they don’t get enough amount of iron from their daily diet. Therefore, it is found that intake of shilajit which is rich in iron like minerals can help to prevent from such anemia conditions. 

4: Shilajit and Hypoxia

Hypoxia is a situation in which some of the body organs do not get a sufficient amount of oxygen because of the decreasing oxygen-carrying capacity of blood and thereby its circulation in the body. The fulvic acid of shilajit can help to improve the oxygen-carrying capacity and blood circulation to prevent hypoxia.

5: Shilajit and infertility

Shilajit powder is available in the local drug store and it is safely used in the form of a supplement for treating male sterility problems. The bioactive in the shilajit helps to increase the total sperm count and sperm motility. The sperm motility is very important during interfertility problems as sperm can move effectively.

6: Shilajit and cancer

It is very well known to everyone that during cancer treatment the patient will be going through the chemotherapy after its certain stage. It is a very painful treatment and it can also damage the normal cells surrounded by the tumor cells. The growth of the tumor cells enhances the production of free radicals. Therefore, intake of shilajit which contains a powerful antioxidant such as fulvic and humic acid can scavenge the free radicals. In this way, it can help in lowering the pain of patients suffering from cancer treatment.  

7: Shilajit and intestinal problems

The bioactive of the shilajit contains the anti-inflammatory and purgative ability which can help in the quantitative reduction of toxic bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori and its growth in the gut. Shilajit plays an important role in enhancing the peristaltic function in the digestion system due to its strong laxative nature which further helps to prevent constipation and piles problems by softening the stool. 

8: Shilajit and its antiaging ability

Shilajit has very strong regenerative properties which are very helpful for repairing the tissues. It can help to prevent cell damage and reduces the aging of tissue of skin, lungs, liver, and heart. As the fulvic acid plays important role in quenching the free radicals and this helps in maintaining the calcium balance in the bones and make them stronger.

Uses of shilajit

  1. Shilajit is used as a tonic in treating neuropsychiatric disorders.
  2. There are some studies available which confirm that shilajit can be used as an anti-anxiety agent.
  3. Shilajit is a nootropic that means it enhances the memory power which is very helpful to improve the learning acquisition.
  4. Shilajit is used in improving the GI system especially for a patient suffering from poor digestion.
  5. The regular intake of shilajit can help in the enlargement of the abdomen.
  6. Shilajit is used in treating gastric worm problems i.e. Rectal fistula GI Worms.
  7. Some of the modern medicine is prepared using shilajit for treating the kidney stone in the bladder.
  8. The use of shilajit has shown significance in Epilepsy.

Recommended Dosage of Shilajit

The ayurvedic dosage of Shilajit varies according to its variants but the literature says that 300 to 500 mg of shilajit can be taken by adults.

Different forms of Shilajit products

FormPreparationRecommended dosage/ day
Shilajit PowderTake 2-3 pinch of powder mix it with honey before taking it.2 times after meals
Shilajit CapsuleOne capsule and take it with lukewarm milk or water after a meal.2 times
Shilajit TabletOne capsule and take it with lukewarm milk or water after a meal.2 times
Shilajit Black Tea/ DecoctionTake 2 cups of water and ½ teaspoons of tea powder and boil it.Add 2 pinch of shilajit powder into it and mix well.Take this in the morning.1 time

Precautions While Using Shilajit

  1. Although shilajit has several health benefits it is very important to avoid any kind of shilajit supplements during pregnancy due to its adverse effect on breastfeeding.
  2. The regular intake of Shilajit makes the immune system more active therefore it should take under proper medical supervision when the individual is suffering from disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and sclerosis.
  3. For a patient suffering from sickle cell anemia, it is not recommended to take shilajit supplements.
  4. Combination of anti-diabetic medicines and shilajit supplements hurts a patient suffering from diabetes therefore it should take under proper medical supervision.

FAQs

1: How long does it take for shilajit to work?

The effect of shilajit can vary from person to person depending on their age, gender, and health conditions. But most people start to get its benefits within 1 to 2 weeks. To get its maximum health benefit it is recommended to take shilajit for at least 2 weeks. 

2: Can women take shilajit?

Yes, women can take shilajit supplements with proper medical supervision. It is a very good supplement which boosts the energy levels in the woman’s body so that they can easily do their daily routine with full enthuse. 

3: Can we take the combination of shilajit and ashwagandha?

Yes, a combination of shilajit and ashwagandha is very much safe to get their maximum benefits from both the supplements. In Ayurveda, the combination of shilajit and ashwagandha is recommended to improve the sexual health of an individual. 

4: Does shilajit increase blood pressure?

No, shilajit can lower the blood pressure and it can be risky for a patient with high blood pressure medication. It should be also noted that an individual with a history of hypotension should not take shilajit supplement because it can lower the blood pressure.